Rash of small plane crashes reflects deadly trend

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a small plane crash in San Diego that killed one person and seriously injured the pilot. The plane narrowly missed crashing into stores. The accident is one of a number to take place around the country this week. CBS News looked into it.

"You will be number one to land on two-eight left," a San Diego air traffic controller instructed a pilot who acknowledged his command. But soon after, his situation was urgent.

"Oh my God. I'm not getting any altitude here ... I am at full throttle ... I'm going down!" His small plane clipped a building before crashing in between a Costco and a Target. The pilot reported losing power.

Jeremy Dunkleberger recorded video of bystanders pulling out the passenger. Moments later he helped the pilot.

"I stepped up on [the] wing and I said we have to get you out of this plane, it is on fire and she said 'My leg is broken. It is broken really bad. I am pinned in,'" said Dunkleberger.

Over the last 24 hours small planes have also crashed in Wisconsin and Alabama. A Florida crash on Sunday killed two beach-goers -- including a nine-year old girl.

Between 2009 and 2013, there were more than 7,000 general aviation accidents -- four a day -- causing 2,011 deaths.

California flight instructor Jimmy Grzesiak trains pilots to always be on the lookout for a place to land in an emergency. But that can be dangerous to the pilot and people on the ground.

"Most pilots -- all pilots --are trying to put the plane in the most desirable place so that when things go wrong we want the least amount of collateral damage, least possible amount of injury," said Grzesiak.

The NTSB says it will take six to nine months to determine what caused the crash in San Diego. The FAA says loss of control is the cause of most fatal general aviation accidents. The agency is working with pilots to reduce fatalities 10 percent by 2018.

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